I live in Quarff with my wife Sandra and two bairns, Libby and Glyn. I work at Islesburgh Complex as a steward and this year I have the honour of being the Guizer Jarl for Up-Helly-A’ 2020. Music is very much something I associate with having a good time and socialising. It is so important to Up-Helly-A’ – whether it’s the pipe or brass bands, squad musicians, music for acts, it all helps to make the festival what it is.
I was born and brought up in Scalloway, the oldest of four lasses. I also have four of a family, seven grandsons and one granddaughter. All going well, next year me and my husband James will be celebrating wir 30th wedding anniversary. My working life started with training as a hairdresser, followed by a variety of jobs. I decided to return to university and study journalism when I was 37. After freelancing for a few years I was lucky enough to secure a post with BBC Radio Shetland and I retired recently after 14 fantastic years.
I was born in Tasmania, Australia and I guess I’m a bit of a fruit cake. I’ve been working since I was six, love sport, been gigging since 1984, love music, learned how to walk again at 15, love flora/fauna and the bush, went walkabout when I was 22, love travel, married at 26, love my wife and two girls, won Scottish Music Award at 37, love my bands/gigging/touring. Music has inspired me, saddened me, enraged me, and aroused me. I’m an emotional bloke. And that’s it – in a nutshell!
I was born and brought up in Lerwick. After studying law at Edinburgh University I returned home to Shetland and started NB Communication, a web design and digital marketing agency. My family are all very musical, with many of them playing in local bands. I’m not quite so prolific on that front, although I did play electric guitar in Jamieson’s Big Pockets. I am currently in the (very) early stages of planning the Pockets’ next global stadium tour.
I have lived in Shetland most of my life but I’m lucky to have done a lot of travelling through my work and music. I studied in Edinburgh for four years doing journalism but I’m now back home working in education. I married Theresa in 2017 and became a dad to Etta last October. I am part of the organising committee of Shetland Folk Festival and play in local bands Vair and The Revellers. – PS – this was really hard!
I spent 14 years on the mainland studying music and working as a touring musician, met some of my heroes and performed to my biggest audience to date (10,000 people). After moving back to Shetland in October last year, I started work on my first solo record at Mareel recording studio with Tim Matthew. I will launch my second EP and music video at the end of this summer.
Stephen has worked as an artist, mainly focusing on cartoons, caricatures and craft pictures for almost 40 years. Born and raised in Shetland, he more commonly works under the guise of Smirk and has been known to produce more serious watercolours. During this time he has supplemented his income with a diversity of other jobs from grape picking in France to fisherman, but mainly working painting houses and sign-writing. Smirk.ink’s motto is “any brush as long as it’s not a brush with the law!”
He says that, “Music, both listening to and performing, has always been very important to my life in Shetland. I’ve played in a quite a few bands, notably The Regurgatators, Tirval and the Tornados and Pete Stak an’ Da Rayburns (who released a CD, See Dee, and featured on the opening track of the Shetland Canvas CD), The Four Amigos and, more recently, with mellower The Overlys who perform country and blues standards and some of their own songs about living in Shetland. I’m a great believer in the adage ‘Music speaks where words fail!’”
I’ve always enjoyed event planning and when the opportunity came up to start my own business (Realta) I did just that. Whether it’s organising Shetland Boat Week or the Eurovision night at my house, it’s done with proper precision! “Some songs instantly transport me back to a certain time in my life and it’s been great to really think about what they were and the times they represent. “The soundtrack of my life is slightly eclectic!”
Mat was appointed CEO of Shetland Amenity Trust in March 2018. He moved north with his wife and two daughters in 2017. “Music has been my constant companion… from a bright yellow plastic radio that lived under my pillow as a child, allowing surreptitious listening to John Peel, Tommy Vance and mix-tapes on a Sony Stowaway (the first Walkman), and now – the ever present iPhone. I love the detail in music.”
Painter and decorator by trade, John Nicolson is probably best known for his role as this year’s Guizer Jarl in the Lerwick Up-Helly-A’. Self-employed since 2014, John says that, “Music has played a huge part in my life as a painter always needs a radio to make the day go faster!”
Ralph Roberts has held the post of chief executive for NHS Shetland since 2011. Recently announcing that he would be leaving to take on a new role as chief executive of NHS Borders, Ralph says: “The job can be hard and my family and music have always been an essential balance. While I have never played music to any real level, since my time in school choirs I have always loved to sing, especially in a group.”
Andy is a self-employed violin instructor and has done this for more years than he cares to remember. Describing it as the “best job ever”, he moved to Shetland three years ago and took up a teaching post within High Level Music. Music is a huge part of his life with his studies and career taking him all over the world, playing many different musical genres. His top four are traditional, classical, musicals and country.
Neville came to Shetland in 1973 from Suffolk. Now living in Sandwick, he worked for the Council on various schemes until 1998 before taking up the role of manager at Shetland Heat Energy and Power – responsible for the district heating scheme. He began collecting music in 1969 when attending Southampton university and now has a vast collection. You’ll often find him entertaining crowds as DJ at Sandwick Social Club.
Emma is a midwife, currently featuring on the TV show Island Medics. She originally came to Shetland for a year – five years ago. She is a busy and active person who enjoys exploring the great outdoors both on land and in the sea. Emma is always willing to get involved in community events and activities, particularly if these involve a cup of tea and cake.
Robert Alan Jamieson
Robert Alan Jamieson was born in Sandness. After publishing two novels and a collection of poetry, Shoormal, during the 1980s, he studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh as a mature student, before taking up the William Soutar Fellowship in Perth (1993-96). He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Robert co-edited Edinburgh Review from 1993 until 1998 and has published five novels. He will be offering a masterclass in creative writing at this year’s Wordplay.
Lana Elaine Smith
Lana Elaine Smith will be playing with the Lana Elaine Smith Trio at the Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival later on this month. Lana graduated from Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a degree in traditional music and has a postgraduate diploma in health sciences and music from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She currently works for the council as a learning support worker at schools in Shetland.
Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. Last month, she won the prestigious Edwin Morgan poetry award; she was also the winner of the 2015 Outspoken Poetry Prize (Poetry in Film) and runner-up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Roseanne is poetry editor for the online literary magazine The Island Review. She currently lives and works in Edinburgh.
Shetland comedian Marjolein Robertson is a rising star of the Scottish comedy scene thanks to her isles-oriented online comedy for the BBC and eclectic stand-up. She is performing her new stand-up show, It’s Time, this month at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Shetland’s newly elected representative for the Scottish Youth Parliament is 17-year-old Dylan Morrish. Dylan currently has a part-time job at the Clickimin Leisure Centre and is a full-time student at the Anderson High School. He plays football for Lerwick Celtic and is also a Year of Young People 2018 ambassador.
Kirsty & Aimee Budge
Sisters Kirsty and Aimee Budge appeared on Countryfile last month, after having been shortlisted as farming heroes in a BBC award ceremony which recognized their hard work and dedication to their community.
Alison O’Donnell, Actress
Alison O’Donnell (aka Detective Sergeant Alison McIntosh or “Tosh”) is a familiar face to all fans of the popular television series Shetland. Before Shetland, Alison had had parts in Holby City and Feel The Force, and was also well known in theatre.
Truckers Tracks – Transport Special Bonus Playlist
Kevin Coulson – Driver/general operative, Mossbank, aged 59
Sweet – Fox On The Run
UB40 – Kingston Town
Comunards – Don’t Leave Me This Way
Ottawan – Hands Up
Stan Ridgeway – Camouflage
Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall pt 2
Boney M – Belfast
Sweet – Ballroom Blitz
Allan Leslie – Driver, Lerwick, aged 45
AC/DC – Thunderstruck
Train – Drops Of Jupiter
Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
The Proclaimers – 500 miles
The waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon
James – Sit Down
Bastille – Pompeii
Avicii – Wake Me Up
Adam Sutherland – Driver, Dunrossness, aged 33
My Chemical Romance – Welcome To The Black Parade
Green Day – Basket Case
Hit The Diff – Marty Move
Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Dolly Parton – Blue Smoke
Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk
Stereophonics – Have A Nice Day
Geoff McCarron – Freight Supervisor, Sandwick, aged 62
The Modern Lovers – Roadrunner
Sniff & The Tears – Driver’s Seat
Dire Straits – Tunnel Of Love
Neil Young – Like A Hurricane
David Bowie – Queen Bitch
Led Zeppelin – Custard Pie
Queen – Brighton Rock
Deep Purple – Highway Star
Maggie Sandison, SIC Chief Executive
Maggie recently hit the headlines with her appointment as the first female chief executive of Shetland Islands Council. Music-lover Maggie admits that she found limiting her choice to ten tracks “a significant challenge”. Well-known for her interest in live music, Maggie says: “I constructed my list around my love of watching live music and picked the artists and songs based on the memories they unlock in me of seeing the live band.”
Genevieve White, Shetland Life Editor
Over the coming months, we’ll be asking people to share the music that matters to them in “Tracks” written exclusively for our Shetland Life magazine and website. To kick off this musical medley, our editor Genevieve White shares the tracks of her life.
The Rainbow Connection by Kermit the frog
I grew up in a family of Muppet fans. I don’t know how many times we watched The Muppet Movie together, but I do know that this song is embedded in my psyche.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
This song reminds me of hanging out in The Meadows, Edinburgh with my school friend when we were teenagers. (I’d like to point out that I wasn’t a teenager when this song was in the charts. We were just a bit retro.)
Marieke by Jacques Brel
At school, I’d always quite liked French. But it wasn’t until a language assistant introduced me to the wonderful Belgian chansonnier Brel that I l decided I LOVED it. Truthfully, Brel would probably be on all ten of my tracks, were it not for the generic conventions of this piece.
Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
My dad was a master of the mix-tape. He’d spend ages compiling themed cassettes for our long holiday drives. When I left home aged 17 he presented me with one of his finest ever compilations. Ain’t No Sunshine was the title track.
Shallow Grave by Leftfield
In my third year at university I shared a flat with some friends. We loved this film. It was quite a turbulent year though, and I’m always surprised we came through it without having to dig a shallow grave of our own.
I am Waiting by The Rolling Stones
This song makes me think of my husband, Cameron. He takes A LONG time to get ready to go anywhere. For the last 20 or so years I’ve been singing this song to him. Without much effect.
Afrika by KFT
Cameron and I worked in Hungary for a few years. Every Wednesday night we went to see a live band in a local pub and they always played this song.
Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream by Simon and Garfunkel
I listened to the album Wednesday morning 3am a lot with our first baby, Ishbel. We were quite often up at 3am in the morning. This music brings back memories of a special (if tiring) time.
The Foggy Dew by Sinead O’Connor
My son Torquil loves this song and has learned all of the verses off by heart. Sinead O’ Connor has a lovely voice, but personally I prefer Torquil’s version.
Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield
I listen to this song a lot at the moment. It’s what I play when I need a little “oomph” to get a job done – whether that be washing the dishes or blitzing the to-do list.